The Gitfing God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess / Edition 1

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Theories of generosity, or gift giving, are becoming increasingly important in recent work in philosophy and religion. Stephen Webb seeks to build on this renewed interest by surveying a distinctively modern and postmodern approach to the issue of generosity, and then developing a theological framework for it. He contends that in many ways society has become suspicious of charity and generosity. This cynicism has led to quick and easy judgments, that, in turn, have led to a new orthodoxy with its own troubling consequences. Webb believes that we need to recover the generosity that our culture obscures behind this monologue on self-interest, and that theology, as a form of critical thought, can play a helpful role. Throughout the book, Webb argues for a theory of giving that is other-oriented without being self-negating. He maintains that the generosity of God's grace, properly understood, can reorient our own idea of the gift and must be correlated to our own practices of exchange and reciprocity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stephen Webb's The Gifting God is a creative and important work of constructive, rhetorical theology...The Gifting God is an engaging and generous work, a gift worth passing along."—Encounter

"Stephen Webb's The Gifting God is an insightful and broad study of the contemporary debates about the possibilities and limits of giving and generosity...I would recommend this book as a map for anyone interested in contemporary theology, philosophy, and social theory."—The Cresset

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195102550
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Lexile: 1330L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.55 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Giving and Thinking 3
1 The Return of the Gift 13
Between Excess and Exchange 14
Style and Function 16
The Gift of Marcel Mauss 32
Marshall Sahlins and the Recovery of Abundance 36
Pierre Bourdieu and the Total Critique of Giving 39
Richard Titmus and the Social Utility of Giving 41
Lewis Hyde and the Community of the Gifted 43
2 Squandering 47
Against Gratitude 49
Emerson and the Denial of Debt 55
Nietzsche and Self-Giving 58
Derrida and the End(lessness) of Giving 67
3 The Theo-Economics of God 83
Giving the Given Gift 84
Calvin and the Labor of Gratitude 94
Karl Barth and God's Freedom 98
Charles Hartshorne and God's Reciprocity 104
Sallie McFague and God's Embodiment 108
Mark C. Taylor and God's Radical Immanence 111
Peter C. Hodgson and God's Persuasive Dialectics 116
4 How Giving Works 123
Giving and Being 129
Giving and Saving 133
God the Giver 139
God the Given 141
God the Giving 146
Notes 159
Index 190
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